Feeling Flexible: The Easy-to-Use Kitchen
Designer Melissa Wilson rolls out a user-friendly kitchen for a couple of dedicated home chefs using an angled wall, pivoting table and lots of easy-access storage.
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Two cooks still might spoil the broth in the easy-to-use kitchen designed by Insignia Kitchen and Bath's Melissa Wilson, but they'll be able to work without getting in each other's way while doing so. Melissa, who works out of Barrington, Ill., designed a space for an avid cook and his wife, who also cooks as well as cleans and who really values access and convenience due to a bad back.
"We had a shaky beginning because they wanted something different but had a tough time communicating it," she says. "Once I realized they really meant it, I let my thought processes go and was able to take them up on the challenge."
At the heart of Melissa's accessible and decidedly different kitchen are angled walls, a pivoting work table and separate cooking and cleanup spaces. Here, she shares some lessons learned in the design process and tips for adapting her style to other kitchens.
Melissa employed 2 x 4's and drywall to add an angled wall that added interest to the rectangular kitchen, lengthened the available wall surface and created more space for cabinets behind the new curved surface and the existing wall. "The most important design benefit, though, is that it created smaller, separate work areas in the kitchen space, which you don't get with the designs that are just one big island in the center of the kitchen," Melissa says. "That allows the couple to cook at the same time in this space that's the center of their home, which is particularly important on the weekends when the kitchen is their base."